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UNITED NATIONS, July 18. /TASS/. The voting in the UN Security Council on the draft resolution on establishing a tribunal to prosecute those responsible for the MH17 air disaster in Ukraine has been postponed until the end of July, a well-informed diplomatic source in the UN headquarters told TASS on Friday.
"It was decided to postpone the voting tentatively scheduled for next Tuesday by one week. The estimated date is July 27," the source said. According to him, the Security Council meeting is expected to be attended by the foreign ministers of the countries forming part of the joint investigation team: Australia, Belgium, Malaysia, the Netherlands and Ukraine. These countries promote the idea of establishing the tribunal most actively.
Malaysia on behalf of the group members has submitted this week the draft resolution and the draft statute of the proposed tribunal for consideration in the UN Security Council. The co-authors argue that the establishment of the tribunal on the MH17 crash will be "an effective guarantee" of independent and impartial process to ensure justice. The tragedy itself is regarded as a "threat to international peace and security". On Wednesday, Russia’s Ambassador to the UN Vitaly Churkin expressed disagreement with the statement noting that the point at issue was about a criminal offence.
Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said on Thursday that Moscow wanted to wait for the final results of investigation into MH17 crash before launching initiatives to create a tribunal. "We believe there is no need to put the cart before a horse. The investigation is not yet competed. UN Security Council resolution 2166 really calls for punishing all the culprits after the investigation is completed. The investigation will be over by October or even later - hopefully, by year end," Lavrov said.
The Boeing 777 of the Malaysia Airlines (MH17) en route from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur crashed on July 17, 2014, in Ukraine’s eastern Donetsk region. All the passengers and crewmembers onboard the aircraft - 298 people, citizens of 10 states - died. Most of the passengers - 196 people - were Dutch citizens. According to the key theory of the crash, the plane was shot down by a surface-to-air or an air-to-air missile. The Ukrainian authorities and representatives of the self-proclaimed republics in Donetsk and Lugansk have been accusing each other of the crash.
UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon made a statement on the issue on Friday. The statement says that "the victims must be honoured by a collective effort to ascertain the truth about the incident and ensure that any persons determined responsible will be held to account."
According to Ban Ki-moon, the anniversary of the tragedy "is another stark reminder of the continuing dire situation in eastern Ukraine and the need to bring an urgent end to this conflict.".